The Day I Became Hard of Hearing
Going into this experiment, I was a little worried about trying to function with hearing plugs inserted in my ears. I am a Live Sound Major as well as a musician and I have been trained to hear things acutely. I have yet to encounter someone that is deaf or hard of hearing in my personal life, so I didn?t feel comfortable right away.
To begin the task I had to pick a day that I would not have to work. I work in retail and customer sevice is the main idea. I chose Christmas Day to wear the ear plugs for the 24 hour period. My family always celebrates the holiday on the 24th, then have another party the next day. I woke up at noon and immediatly placed the plugs in. By noon the entire house was awake and preparing for the gala. My mother was cleaning from the night before and my father was in the kitchen preparing lunch and tonights dinner. I loafed around my room for a while and got dressed. I turned on the television and noticed the sudden loss of high end. I could not hear the television well at all. I was trying to watch a news program but I couldn?t make out any of the words. There was no clarity at all. So I turned the volume up some. This became increasingly difficult because on every news broadcast the subject changes rapidly. I would see a little picture window by the anchors head but never know what they were talking about. Before I knew it, a new picture would arrive and I was lost. I stopped watching television when I heard a banging at my door. This really caught me by surprise. It was my mother telling me that I had a phone call. She was a bit upset because she had been calling me but thought I was ignoring her. I grabbed the phone and said ?hello.? My friend started to talk but just like the television I didn?t hear them. It reminded me of the teacher from one of the Charlie Brown specials. Luckily our phone has a volume switch that I flipped immediatly. By the middle of our conversation my friend asked me why iwas talking so loud. I explained my situation and proceeded to talk softer.
I went downstairs and sat at thwe dining room table. I ate lunch with my immediate family. This is when I remembered Ramsdell?s level of haering. I could barely hear any room noises or conversation over my own drinking, chewing, or swallowing. I couldn?t participate in any conversation without felling that I was annoying everyone with the occasional ?WHAT WAS THAT ??
After lunch my father asked me to go to the grocery for some things. By this time I was anxious to be outside and get true reactions instead of the kindness from my family. I drove to the nearby grocery store. Driving was an experience in itself. I turned the radio up till I could hear it but there never seemed to be enough treble. I have been driving for a few years but with the hearing plugs in it came to be less natural. I felt more stress and had to concentrate harder than usual. It was beginning to be frustrating. I arrived at the store and everything went well until I hit the checkout line. I have the habit of day dreaming and it tends to hit when I am waiting. I snap out of it when I?m interrupted. This time I was not able to hear the lady saying next. The man behind me had to tap me on the back